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Cadiz Inc. [NASDAQ: CDZI] (“Cadiz”), a land and water resource development company with 45,000 acres in California’s San Bernardino County, announced today a significant pledge to support County-based labor and materials upon implementation of the Company’s Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project (“Project”). As part of the Pledge, the Company has committed to purchase 80% of the materials necessary to construct the Project’s facilities from County businesses and to dedicate 50% of the Project’s jobs to County residents, including a goal of 10% for local veterans.
The Water Project proposes to provide a reliable water supply to Southern California communities by capturing and conserving thousands of acre-feet of native groundwater currently being lost to evaporation from the aquifer system beneath the Company’s property in the Cadiz Valley. The Project’s Phase I construction cost requirements are estimated at approximately $225 - $275 million.
According to Inland Empire economist Dr. John Husing, the Project’s total economic impact over its first and second phase could reach approximately $878 million, including significant new tax revenues for the County and the local school district. Dr. Husing also estimates that the Project would create an annual average of approximately 1,100 direct and indirect jobs during construction.
“The Cadiz Project would bring exactly the kind of quality jobs we need in our area, and support local manufacturers,” said City of Fontana Mayor Aquanetta Warren. “With this pledge to keep the project investment and job creation local in the County, the Cadiz Project is a significant opportunity to help the local economy bounce back.”
The County of San Bernardino, which has a population of more than 2 million people, has experienced some of the highest unemployment rates in the State of California and U.S. in recent years. In March 2012, unemployment in San Bernardino County was 12.6%, much higher than the national unemployment rate of 8.2%. In some of the County’s high desert communities, unemployment is considerably higher.